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Re: Non-Sumo -Omochi-

You find the strangest things on the news wires sometimes.
This stuff sounds truly dangerous!!!

- Dave


Man saved by vacuum cleaner after choking on sticky rice cake
4.40 a.m. ET (956 GMT) January 6, 2001

TOKYO (AP) -- A Japanese man choking on a sticky, glutinous rice 
cake was saved when his daughter sucked the glob out with a vacuum
cleaner, an official said Saturday. 

Local fire station official Toshiyuki Matsuura said the 70-year-old 
man from northern Japan suddenly began gasping for air Tuesday as 
he chewed on a piece of "mochi,'' a food traditionally eaten by 
the Japanese around New Year's. 

Family members first tried unsuccessfully to remove the food with 
their fingers. Then his daughter, 46, grabbed a vacuum cleaner, 
took out the man's dentures, and stuck the hose into his mouth 
with the switch turned to "high.'' 

The gooey, white mass slowly emerged, and the man, whose name was 
not disclosed, had almost fully recovered by the time paramedics 
arrived, Matsuura said. 

"A vacuum cleaner could be useful in an emergency like that, but 
I wouldn't recommend it to everyone because it's tricky,'' 
Matsuura said. "He was rather lucky.'' 

Mochi is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the New Year 
in Japan, when many homes and shrines are decorated with ritual 
offerings of hardened blocks of rice. 

The blocks can become chewy and sticky when cooked. Every year, 
a handful of mostly elderly Japanese die after choking on mochi 
rice cakes, which are usually served grilled and wrapped in 
seaweed or in a broth. 

On Tue, 2 Jan 2001, moti wrote:

> As an aside, this O-Mochi stuff is a lethal weapon.Many people
> traditionally suffocate every year whilst trying to swallow the
> stuff.It's like chewing a tire, only it's white. When I was 10 and
> growing up in Japan, I was offered some omochi at a festival on New
> year's. I recklessly declined. I live. On the other hand,the kid who sat
> next to me in school tried it and nothing happened to him. Some story,
> huh?
> Mochi